Most of the world depends on electricity today, and it’s produced using a variety of different methods depending on the area you live in. There are ten major sources of energy today, and they all work a bit differently than one another. Some of these sources are renewable, and others are non-renewable. It’s important to learn about all the sources to give you an idea of where your energy comes from and understand advanced technologies like the ones you’ll see if you visit Pulsed Energy Technologies.
Petroleum or oil-based energy is generated by burning the oil or refining it into different fuels used to power vehicles, homes, factories, and other tools and equipment around the world. Petroleum is one of the most common forms of energy today, and it makes up a portion of energy production for many countries.
Natural gas is a naturally occurring compound that’s mostly made of methane gas and some carbon dioxide, water vapor, and other compounds. Natural gas is often burned for energy production and is used for heating homes, running factories, operating appliances, and much more. This energy source is also non-renewable.
Nuclear energy is a mostly clean energy source that generates power by splitting atoms of Uranium. This process creates a great deal of heat, and the heat is used to create steam that spins turbines to generate electricity. Nuclear energy is a reliable energy solution, but it takes careful maintenance to manage, and the process still generates waste that we must deal with. Scientists are working to achieve nuclear fusion, which would provide a cleaner and more stable form of energy than fission is capable of offering.
Gas liquids that are found with natural gas are relied upon heavily as an energy source today. These liquids include ethane, butane, propane, pentane, and isobutane. Some of these liquids are utilized more heavily than others, but they’re relied upon for heating, running vehicles and tools, and powering a range of other applications.
Coal power is generated by burning coal rocks that are extracted from the earth. Coal is used for heating, cooking, and generating electricity for millions of homes around the world. Coal power is non-renewable, and the limited supply of coal is slowly running out. Coal rocks are made of a combination of carbon and hydrocarbons, and they’re highly combustible, making them ideal for power production.
Solar energy is produced by capturing energy from direct sunlight in a variety of ways. Sunlight is used for heating purposes worldwide, but it’s also used to generate electricity by way of photovoltaic cells aligned into large panels. These special cells generate electricity when exposed to sunlight, and that electricity can be harnessed for a wide range of applications in a home or business setting.
Biomass energy is energy produced by growing plants. Today soy, corn, and many different trees and algae plants are grown for this purpose. Sometimes the plants are converted into liquid fuels before using them, and other times they are dried and burned immediately after growing. Either way, biomass energy always relies on grown plants as its fuel source.
Hydropower is energy generated by water in one way or another. Hydropower is often achieved by damming a river or another moving water source to direct water flow through large turbines. Hydropower is also being generated through devices that capture tidal movements today.
Geothermal energy is trapped heat from deep within the earth. The interior of the earth is incredibly hot, and in some areas, this heat can be harnessed as a convenient power source. Some countries such as Iceland depend on this energy source to meet a large portion of their power needs.
Wind can generate power through large windmills or specialized turbines that move by the force of moving wind. Windmills are large in size and lightweight enough to move rapidly using just the force of wind currents.
Each of these ten sources of energy is relied upon today to meet our energy needs, but certain countries rely on some more than others. We rely heavily on non-renewable resources for energy production around the planet today, and much of our energy produced is generated by burning compounds, rocks, gases, or liquids to generate tremendous amounts of heat. Gaining an understanding of each of our energy sources will help you understand where our power comes from today.